During the month of June we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, widely known as Corpus Christi. In the words of Pope Francis, pronounced during his homily at the Church of Santa Maria Consolatrice, in the Roman quarter of Casal Bertone, on Sunday 23 June 2019, the Eucharist “inspires us to give ourselves to others. It is the antidote to the mindset that says: ‘Sorry, that is not my problem’, or: ‘I have no time, I can’t help you, it’s none of my business.’”
St Faustina’s Diary points to us the eternal source of this refreshing self-giving that you and me are called to put on in our lives. In this fantastic spiritual and theological treatise, we encounter our Lord who clearly wants and is utterly determined to stay with us! As our loving God and Elder Brother, Jesus wants to open His Merciful heart to embrace each and everyone of us! In her Diary Faustina writes:
“On leaving the earth, O Lord, You wanted to stay with us, and so You left us Yourself in the Sacrament of the Altar, and You opened wide Your mercy to us. There is no misery that could exhaust You; You have called us all to this fountain of love, to this spring of God’s compassion. Here is the tabernacle of Your mercy, here is the remedy for all our ills. To You, O living spring of mercy, all souls are drawn; some like deer, thirsting for Your love, others to wash the wound of their sins, and still others, exhausted by life, to draw strength.” (no. 1747)
In front of such a sacrament from which “all grace flows to us,” full of love which is, itself “unconceivable” (no. 1747) and “great” (no.1748), this Polish nun could do only one thing: let herself be struck and enveloped with so much awe and adoration. The powerful love of the Eucharistic Jesus brought Faustina not simply on her knees but transformed her in God’s unfathomable humility. Thus, fascinated by Christ’s love, she sings in adoration: “Be adored, O God, in the work of Your mercy, Be blessed by all faithful hearts, On whom Your gaze rests, In whom dwells Your immortal life.” (no. 1747) Then, she adds: “In the Blessed Sacrament, You left us Your mercy; Your love deigned to arrange it so, That, going through life, suffering and toil, I might never doubt of Your goodness and mercy.” (no.1748)
Yes! Eucharistic love is always the most sublime show of mercy and goodness of Christ for us, ungrateful sinners! Happy are we if we approach the Eucharist and let ourselves be thoroughly changed by it! And, our change by the Eucharist will never leave us as good and ‘holy’ spectators! No! Fashioned by grace, Christ’s eucharistic love simply moves us to be co-workers with Him in the salvation of humanity, particularly the sinners. In entry 908 Faustina comments:
“Transform me into Yourself, O Jesus, that I may be a living sacrifice and pleasing to You. I desire to atone at each moment for poor sinners. The sacrifice of my spirit is hidden under the veil of the body; the human eye does not perceive it, and for that reason it is pure and pleasing to You. O my Creator and Father of great mercy, I trust in You, for You are Goodness Itself. Souls, do not be afraid of God, but trust in Him, for He is good, and His mercy is everlasting.”
Beautiful as it is this paragraph needs a basis on which it really can be solidified in order to yield abundant good fruit. Personally speaking, I find no other paragraph that can actually strengthen Faustina’s self-oblation for the salvation of sinners than paragraph 1827. The reason for this is that thanks to this paragraph we can better appreciate God’s humility and purification, who were 24/7 at work in Faustina’s heart and soul. Eucharistic love can never reach the indepths of a soul if that soul is full of itself and feeds on its own dreadful pride and ego.
“Today, my soul is preparing for Holy Communion as for a wedding feast, wherein all the participants are resplendent with unspeakable beauty. And I, too, have been invited to this banquet, but I do not see that beauty within myself, only an abyss of misery. And, although I do not feel worthy of sitting down to table, I will however slip under the table, at the feet of Jesus, and will beg for the crumbs that fall from the table. Knowing Your mercy, I therefore approach You, Jesus, for sooner will I run out of misery than will the compassion of Your Heart exhaust itself. That is why during this day I will keep arousing trust in The Divine Mercy.”
The more Faustina understood how she did not merit Christ’s eucharistic love, due to her misery, the more she felt his inner calling to her to give herself up in love for Him who is Love and Mercy itself. In entry 1700 Faustina writes: “This evening, the Lord asked me, Do you not have any desires in your heart? I answered, ‘I have one great desire, and it is to be united with You forever.’ And the Lord answered me, That will happen soon. My dearest child, your every stirring is reflected in My Heart. My gaze rests kindly upon you before any other creature.”
In her Diary Faustina reminds you and me that the power of Jesus’ eucharistic love lies in the host we receive at communion. This led her to exclaim joyfully: “O living Host, my one and only strength, fountain of love and mercy, embrace the whole world, fortify faint souls. Oh, blessed be the instant and the moment when Jesus left us His most merciful Heart!” (no, 223)
Animated by Christ’s eucharistic love for us let us offer ourselves in complete abandonment to God’s will especially when we daily receive the Eucharist, as Faustina did day after day:
Jesus-Host, whom I have this very moment received into my heart, in this union with you I offer myself to the Heavenly Father as a sacrificial host, abandoning myself totally and completely to the most merciful holy will of my God. From today onward, your will, Lord, is my food. You have my whole being; dispose of me as you please . . . I no longer fear any of your inspirations, nor do I probe anxiously to see where they will lead me . . . I have placed all my trust in your will which is, for me, love and mercy itself. (Diary, 1264, 456)
What will happen is that God’s wonderful deeds (mirabilia Dei) will flow in and through us!